YouTube appears to be one of the largest technological revolutions in the history of the internet and is changing the entire face of the media. While online video has been around for quite some time, prior to YouTube, there was really no easy or practical way to share video on the internet. Videos were long and slow loading, and required separate software to view them. If you ever tried watching video prior to YouTube, you may know how frustrating it was indeed!
YouTube revolutionized online video by developing a technology that easily allows people to watch videos in the web browser, as well as embed YouTube videos in remote websites.
Well, I have found that there are certain characteristics that can help make a video successful, and I’ve listed them below. This isn’t an ‘absolute’ list, but it can give you a pretty good idea of what will make your video successful.
Here’s the list: Funny, Weird, Gross, Shocking, Interesting, Sexy, Inspiring, Demonstrates, Instructional, Personal
If I could, I would invent some special and clever acronym to help you remember these 10 characteristics, but I am not a genius and with these words, I’m not sure it is possible (and besides, you’d probably forget the acronym 30 seconds later!).
10 Characteristics Of Popular & Profitable Videos
1. Funny – The word funny constantly appears as the one of the most typed in phrases to all the search engines on the internet. People on the internet love to laugh, and equally important, people like to make other people laugh. It lightens up their day. A funny video has a high chance of being sent to friends and probably has the highest probability of causing a viral marketing stir.
2. Weird – Face it, the internet can be a weird place, with weird people, who like to create weird media and enjoy looking at weird things. Weird has always been popular on the internet. Weird theories, weird conspiracies, and weirdness prevails. Weirdness may help your video get noticed if you don’t mind being weird (just don’t be creepy & weird).
3. Inspiring – Stories of inspiration are always a good commodity. Anything inspiring can become extremely popular, extremely fast. An example was the ‘Interview With God’ presentation (you may have heard about it…if not, look it up on Google). It was a huge internet hit. While it was created before the time of YouTube, something similar on YouTube could become immensely popular today.
4. Shocking – Anything genuinely shocking is always a hit on the internet. Especially with video because it is basically proof that the shocking thing is real. Shocking videos may get a viral effect and even news coverage from both online and offline news sources.
5. Interesting – Curiosity can be a powerful sales device in getting people from your video to your website. Anytime you can prick the curiosity of a viewer and make them want to learn more about you and your product, it is a good thing. When you successfully generate curiosity in your video viewer, you give them an itch which must be scratched. Creating curiosity may be especially useful considering that users who find your video on YouTube will actually have to take the effort to type in the URL and visit the site you are promoting.
6. Sexy – I don’t even have to mention this one. Sex is always popular, and I cannot think of any instance when being described as sexy has ever been any hindrance to selling a product.
7. Personal – Many people are voyeurs…And doubly-so on the internet, where they can be as voyeuristic as they want from the security of their home. Internet surfers are curious and like to see personal things about other people. These videos which are often funny and or bizarre, may have great potential.
8. Demonstrates – Sometimes just a plain old, no frills demonstration of a product can be very effective at selling. As we’ll see in some of the case studies below, a simple demonstration with video on YouTube can be a wonderful way to make a lot of money.
9. Instructional – Instructional videos are useful and easy to create. They may tell or show someone how to do something, and for our purposes, might be just a free introduction to your product which makes the viewer want more information or more instruction. Instructional videos are helpful and may gain the trust and interest of viewers.
10. Gross – Shows like ‘Fear Factor’ have been popular in the U.S. for quite sometime. Jackass II was the number one movie in America. Gross has mass appeal. Gross can be popular in spite of its grossness. Gross videos may get lots of views. However, keep in mind that there is a fine line between gross and flat-out disgusting. Disgusting probably won’t sell a lot of products, but humorous videos with a small dose of ‘gross’ may be useful, depending on your product.
So above you have 10 characteristics. In the next chapter we’ll take a look at some successful videos that have gotten many views, or accomplished some important marketing objective.